No potato planting – the traditional pastime for allotment folk on Easter Sunday – but a really useful day nonetheless. Mrs G and I weeded and weeded, trying to get the Couch Grass under control, and to clear the ground for sowing and planting in due course. What a bugger it is, with some rhizomes I dug out today being a good 18 inches long or more, and usually tangled with others into some kind of weedy Gordian Knot. Short of dismantling the entire plot, raise beds and all, and starting again after cleansing the site, there is no alternative but to keep weeding.
The raised beds were all clean and tidy when we’d finished, as was the fruit cage where raspberries are promising to do very well. We must be more diligent about picking them though this year. One of the reasons for growing them is that we, our son in particular, love them, and they’re pricey to buy. But they do need to be cropped little and often to get the benefit, and we failed to do that properly last year. I think a raspberry stop on the way home will become a feature of the school run this summer.
We also had a bonfire, and burned a lot of rubbish left over from last season. Therapeutic as ever, as well as a quick way to tidy up the plot. The children, meanwhile, occupied themselves and their friends very happily. The (older) boys barrowed many loads of bark chips (for paths) and leaf-mould/compost up from the bottom of the hill. When they grew tired of this they decided to use the bark-chip heap as a soft landing site for impromptu acrobatics. Meanwhile, the two girls kept busy watering, worm-hunting and adding dry sticks to the bonfire. They all ended the day tired, happy and tiredly, happily filthy.
There are some fruit trees, heeled-in as bare-roots and then rather forgotten about, which really need to be properly planted. Now the site is tidier, it’s possible to be more certain where they should go, and I will move them to their new, permanent sites next time I visit.
Though there is still a lot to do, but it is only the beginning of April – and we came away not only with a sense of satisfaction at a good day’s work done, but with a good bundle of early rhubarb too.